I love London. Let's just get that out of the way right now. I didn't get a whole lot of time there, but I can not think of one thing I did that I wouldn't do again.
First stop: The Tower of London.
I wish I'd done more research about this location before I visited it. I've learned so much since I've been there that I wish I knew when I went. It would have made the experience so much more meaningful for me. I mean, I loved it. And I was interested in everything that I saw, (the crown jewels are there- hell-loo!) but I there were things there that belonged to my ancestors. I knew before I went that my family line went back into royalty, but I didn't know names. After this particular London excursion, I had my mom email me one line of our family history to get some of the names, and some of those names appeared in the Tower of London displays. If I'd known I would have paid closer attention. The only one I remember clearly was a suit of amour belonging to John of Gaunt (my 24th [or something like that] great grandfather). From his armor you could tell he was one tall man! Maybe that's where I got my height? Heaven knows it didn't come from my parents.
Next stop: Millennium Bridge
I walked across it. It's totally awesome. I don't know much about it other than that (that and the fact that it was destroyed in one of the Harry Potter movies) But it's cool, so if you get to go, you should take the opportunity to walk across it.
Next Stop: Saint Paul's Cathedral
I didn't get to go inside. We didn't have time. But I was standing at the entrance filming what I could see of the inside of it long enough for a young man in robes to ask me to put my camera away. I felt awful. I didn't realize it was uncouth to take pictures and video. Sorry. So I have a few pictures of it, but mostly of the outside. Someday, when I move and can go through my stuff I'll have to blog about my time in England and share my pictures.
Next Stop: Shakespeare's Globe
The original Globe burned down but this exact replica was incredibly beautiful. We sat in the middle balcony. Hard seats, but seats nonetheless. The plebeians had to stand, poor suckers, and since there is no roof, they got rained on. Some of the people from my group wanted the experience so they joined the plebeians in the rain. I was content to play the role of a wealthy person who had a paying seat and stay dry. Lame, I know.
Next Stop: The London Eye
This was on my list of "Must Do's" on my trip. Looking back, it should not have been my priority. Although it was an absolutely fabulous experience, there were other things I didn't get to do because I made sure I did this. But it affords a great view of the city. And I was there on a rare clear day so I could see all the way to Derbyshire! I recommend it. Even if you're afraid of Ferris wheels. It's nothing like the fair type ride. It's incredible.
Next stop: West End
One day on my stay in England, I caught the train and went to London by myself. Other trips were with the group, but this one I did alone. It was awesome. Other than the time I wasted by getting *totally* lost, it was fun to see and do the things that *I* wanted to do rather than where the crowd led me. Anyway, once I was found, I headed to the West End. I had a ticket to see Les Miserables. Oh. My.Gosh. it was amazing. I highly, HIGHLY recommend seeing a play in the West End. Or anywhere in London if you can. There is just something about knowing you're in London. I also saw (on a group trip) Shakespeare's Henry IV part 2 starring some very familiar faces:
It was awesome. Seriously. Just to be able to say that I was in the same room- breathing the same air as these men is jaw-dropping.